In 2014, a renewed EU Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulation No 517/2014 (or “F-Gas Regulation”) was adopted to reduce fluorinated gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030, as compared with 2014 levels. This reduction supports EU obligations under the 2016 United Nations Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987). While the phase-down is ongoing, replacing fluorinated gases with climate-friendly alternatives is becoming difficult. Safety standards drastically limit the use of climate-friendly alternatives such as natural refrigerants because of their flammable properties, without reflecting technological developments able to mitigate the risks. ECOS works at both European and international level to reduce the barriers posed by standards to the uptake of natural refrigerants, thus improving the environmental performance of the heating and cooling sector.
By 2050, two thirds of the world’s households could have an air conditioner due to the effects of global warming. According to the International Energy Agency, the total number of air conditioners is expected to grow from 1.6 to 5.6 billion globally. The need to switch to climate-friendly refrigerants has never been so great!
Last June, the European Commission Technical Expert Group (TEG) published the first draft of the Taxonomy Technical Report, a classification of economic activities that could be claimed as environmentally sustainable. Even though in includes ambitious criteria for certain activities, we have serious concerns about the presence of dirty fossil fuels and the lack of fundamental sustainability requirements for other proposed activities.
The rising temperatures and increasing frequency of heat waves result in a growing number of air conditioner and comfort fan units. These, in turn, contribute to direct GHG emissions from the intensive energy consumption and refrigerant leakage.